Vivaldi: Amor, hai vinto; Cessate, omai cessate; Concerti for Strings, RV 117, 134 & 151; Cello Concerto in A minor, RV 422; Violin Concerto in D minor, RV 249

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COMPOSERS: Vivaldi
LABELS: Opus
WORKS: Amor, hai vinto; Cessate, omai cessate; Concerti for Strings, RV 117, 134 & 151; Cello Concerto in A minor, RV 422; Violin Concerto in D minor, RV 249
PERFORMER: Sara Mingardo (alto), Francesca Vicari (violin), Luigi Piovano (cello)Concerto Italiano/Rinaldo Alessandrini
CATALOGUE NO: 111 OPS 30-181
Concerto Italiano, so successful in Monteverdi madrigals, clearly revels in Vivaldi’s inexhaustible inventiveness. The focus on sharply defined characterisation pays dividends in the concertos, bringing out the variety within each movement; and there is some excellent playing by the violin and cello soloists and their colleagues in the small string group. But Alessandrini’s harpsichord accompaniments sometimes seem over-fussy and unspontaneous; and he and his continuo partners, recorded very close, occasionally drive quick movements so hard that they become something of a scramble. What gives this disc an edge over other similar Vivaldi anthologies is the inclusion of the two secular cantatas, which show Vivaldi a master of the accompanied recitative as well as the set-piece aria. Sara Mingardo sings them with rich tone, a strong sense of drama, and brilliant coloratura. Another one would have been welcome to boost the ungenerous playing time. Anthony Burton

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